Over the past few months I’ve been spending a lot of time discussing, coaching, and observing business development – both within and outside of my organization. My mind has been on it consistently, and I’ve been reminded of something I coached many sellers to do through the years.
It’s so easy in the sales process to nod your head, agree with the prospect, and work to keep the peace. After all, it feels better and what kind of position are you in to object or share strong opinions when you’re trying to start a business relationship with someone? The answer is the best position.
While you may not want to upset the proverbial apple cart, it’s really important to establish a truth-telling relationship with a prospect before they become a client. It’s how the framework of your bond will be built. Is it difficult? Yes. But it’s worth it because until you share direct and honest feedback, you can’t get to the issues that are causing your new prospect (or client) their troubles.
I’m pretty sure my friend Jerry Brown, President of Madison Avenue Marketing Group, didn’t invent the phrase “Authentic Dialogue”, but it resonated with me from the very first time I heard it. And frankly it revolutionized how I helped salespeople approach their work. It’s so important to be real with your prospects.
So maybe you’re still reading this and you’re not in sales – my hope is you’re getting the point of where I am headed. Like so many lessons in life – this one goes deeper.
The genuine exchange of information, vision, and plans extend way beyond the sales process. It’s woven throughout the client relationship. It’s important to stay on top of the down deep feelings and concerns of your clients (and employees, and advisors, etc.). Only through an authentic exchange can you and your team truly accomplish all you desire.
Bruce Bryan – B2C Enterprises
Roanoke’s B2C Enterprises is an award-winning advertising, marketing, and business development firm. If you’d like to talk about how we can help you build authentic relationships, see some examples of our work call 540.904.1229 or go to b2cEnterprises.com for more information.